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Three Polk County boys show their mounts in the Bolivar Saddle Club horse show's children's pleasure class in 1972. 

With a long history of successful events, the Bolivar Saddle Club's 50th Annual Gaited Horse Show is sure to not disappoint.

The club's yearly gaited horse show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at the Bolivar Saddle Club Arena, 1/4 mile east of the Mo. 13 and Mo. 32 intersection. The rain date is Monday, July 4.

Cost for entry is a $3 donation at the gate; children ages 6 and younger get in free. Concessions will be provided by Full Pulled Grill of Bolivar.

The show will include 21 classes featuring Fox Trotting horses, Missouri's state horse, and Tennessee walking horses.

To celebrate its milestone anniversary, the organizers are offering a few special events that are unique to the club's 50th anniversary show.

Providing pre-show entertainment, Danny McCurry and Greg Burke, cowboy poets and musicians, will start at 5:45 p.m.

The 2015 World Grand Champion Foxtrotter Captain's Charming Noah R., owned by Joe and Jennifer Stewart from Farmington, Ark. and shown by Bryan Biggs, will be on exhibit. 

There will be exhibitions featuring arabian costume, roadster ponies, saddle bred five gaited horses and American saddle bred driving. 

Area businesses and crafters will have booths open, and the Bolivar Woodcarvers is putting on wood carving demonstrations. There will be face painting and balloon art for the kids.

Jimmy Strader, the saddle club president, said there is still booth space available for area businesses. He said the club wants "to get even more members of the community involved."

Strader also hopes to get more young people interested in horses through this year's event.

Noting the benefits of working with animals, Strader said he is working to get his own grandchildren involved and hopes at least one granddaughter will join in the lead line event during the show. 

"To have an animal teaches responsibility," Strader said. "You put work into it. It teaches responsibility. The more training, the more you put in it, the more work, the more joy and satisfaction you get." 

For more information about Bolivar Saddle Club, including its annual gaited horse show, contact Strader at 326-7914 or 770-4858.

Sidebar: Current Bolivar Saddle Club Members:

Rex Barham*

Ralph Booth

Ken Bruce

Jennifer Condren

Shorty Dean

Josh and Debbi Gifford

Rick and Susie Graham

David and Nancy Hale

Roy and Marsha Harms

Ron and Carlene Hendrickson

Mae Maack*

Caleb Skopec

Steve Skopec*

Jimmy and Sarah Strader

Goldena Taylor

Deryl Tinsley

Vance and Jody Vahle

*denotes charter members

Sidebar: Bolivar Saddle Club history

• The first Bolivar Saddle Club show was Friday, June 30, 1944, on the athletic field at Bolivar High School (now Bolivar Middle School). 

• The club's June 28,1945, horse show drew a crowd of several thousand people and 200 horses. 

• The first horse show at the Bolivar Saddle Club Arena was May 26, 1967.    

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